From STEM to STEAM: Toward a Human-Centered EducationThe 20th century was based on local linear engineering of complicated systems. We made cars, airplanes and chemical plants for example. The 21st century has opened a new basis for holistic non-linear design of complex systems, such as the Internet, air traffic management and nanotechnologies. Complexity, interconnectivity, interaction and communication are major attributes of our evolving society. But, more interestingly, we have started to understand that chaos theories may be more important than reductionism, to better understand and thrive on our planet. Systems need to be investigated and tested as wholes, which requires a cross-disciplinary approach and new conceptual principles and tools. Consequently, schools cannot continue to teach isolated disciplines based on simple reductionism. Science; Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) should be integrated together with the Arts1 to promote creativity together with rationalization, and move to STEAM (with an "A" for Arts). This new concept emphasizes the possibility of longer-term socio-technical futures instead of short-term financial predictions that currently lead to uncontrolled economies. Human-centered design (HCD) can contribute to improving STEAM education technologies, systems and practices. HCD not only provides tools and techniques to build useful and usable things, but also an integrated approach to learning by doing, expressing and critiquing, exploring possible futures, and understanding complex systems.
Boy, Guy A. (Florida Inst. of Tech. Melbourne, FL, United States)
August 27, 2013
January 1, 2013
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Meeting: European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics